Your car is probably one of the biggest financial investments you make in life so it pays to have it last as long as it possibly can. The good news is that this is not terribly difficult to do, as beyond the obvious things like having your car serviced regularly there are lots of minor things you can do which take little effort, but will definitely contribute to extending your car’s life.
Here we look in more detail at five car life-extending tips which are useful for all car owners, regardless of how old their vehicle is.
Tip #1 Wash and wax your car on a regular basis
Rather than waiting until it is really dirty it’s much better to have a schedule for getting your car washed – which, depending on how it is used, could be once a week or once a month. During the winter if there is snow and slush it should be washed weekly anyhow, and don’t forget to rinse the undercarriage to remove salt deposits.
Schedule in a wax three or four times a year too, to help protect the paintwork against small scratches – you can do it yourself or pay someone else too. This kind of basic car bodywork care helps protect the paint against the weather, and reduces the risk of both fading and rusting.
Tip #2 Tackle repairs immediately
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Tackling a problem at the first clues it gives you will avoid major damage down the line.
Tip #3 Check your tires regularly
Holes in the road, catching the kerb, wear and tear and even the weather are all factors which can damage your tires. If you use your car a lot then weekly checks are good, but everyone should check their tires properly at least once a month. You should be checking for any obvious damage or signs of serious wear, as well as measuring the tire pressure to make sure it is correct. Rotating tires around every 7000 miles is good practice too.
Tires which are not in great condition or at the correct pressure can throw the entire engine and balance of course, as well as pose a risk to the driver and others should they blow out.
Tip #4 Drive calmly and steadily
Road screeching accelerations, last minute hard braking, and driving in the wrong gear (in a stick car) are all great ways to damage the engine or gears in some way. Instead aim to drive smoothly, brake in plenty of time, and steer carefully rather than sharply around corners.
Tip #5 Routinely check all fluids
This includes engine oil, radiator coolants, transmission, brake and power steering fluids. The instructions on how to do these things should be in your manual, or you can have an expert do it. Ignore them and risk a seized engine.
If you want to find out how to extend your car’s life check out https://digmyride.com/make-your-car-last-longer/. Much of it can be done by your good self if you are halfway confident and competent.